During the 2020-2021 school year, UP for Learning partnered with Spectrum Youth and Family Services and the Winooski School District to explore the foundation of restorative practices and understand how youth and adults felt about safety and belonging in the Winooski community. The team followed the protocols of Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) in order to conduct surveys and interviews in the schools and the community, and then examined the data that they collected. One area of strength is that the majority of youth feel safe in the city, in addition to feeling welcomed by their teachers. Areas identified for growth include the racism that Winooski student athletes experience during games against other schools. The team discussed how creating affinity spaces and incorporating elements of restorative practice into community dialogue might help to address this ongoing issue. Learn more about UP’s partnership with Spectrum and the Winooski School District here.